Wednesday | 28 Jun 2017

WRC 2 Poland Preview: Five from five for Tidemand?

Sweden's Pontus Tidemand heads to this week's Orlen 74th Rally Poland [29 June - 2 July] aiming to secure his fifth win of the WRC 2 season and move within touching distance of the 2017 title.

The Skoda Fabia R5 driver has won all four WRC 2 rounds he has entered so far this year, and a perfect score of 100 points puts him 46 clear at the top of the drivers' standings with two more scoring rounds to come.

If he continues his winning streak in Poland then he and co-driver Jonas Andersson will be all but guaranteed the title.

"This year I already got a lot of experience on gravel," Tidemand said. "But the upcoming Rally Poland is very special – it is one of the fastest events of the World Rally Championship. Last year, I learnt a lot in Poland ending up in seventh position only – now I am aiming for the victory."

But taking the win in Poland won't be easy for Tidemand, who will go up against 14 other entrants in the hotly-contest WRC support category.

Follow Skoda Fabia driver Ole Christian Veiby was Tidemand's closest challenger at the last round in Sardinia, and the 21-year-old Norwegian is hoping to show podium pace again on Poland's sandy gravel roads.

Veiby finished third in the Junior WRC category on his Poland debut last year, and got reacquainted with the high-speed stages, this time in an R5 car, at a test on Monday.

"We have found a good setup that I think works and we are well prepared. Our target is to finish on the podium, although the competition is way tougher in Poland than what we had in Sardinia," Veiby said.

"Even though we made our debut here last year, I think we did well. I really like this event. I see this as one of my favourite rallies."

Top-10 championship challengers Benito Guerra (Skoda) and Simone Tempestini (Citroën) will also line up in Poland.

Other entrants tipped for success include British Championship leader Osian Pryce and fellow Ford Fiesta drivers Gus Greensmith and Pedro Heller.

Polish hopes ride with local stars Lukasz Pieniazek, Hubert Ptaszek, Jaroslaw Koltun and Wojciech Chuchala.

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